From Pittsburgh to Harrisburg to Geneva to Allentown to Nuremburg . . . I think you get the gist. No, we did not go on another excursion outside of Germany and across the world. Today was our longest bus ride to visit Continental, an automotive manufacturing company that specializes in tires, as well as powertrain components, automotive safety, brake systems, and several other areas that deal with the automobile industry. The company is located in Regensburg, Germany, which took a little less than two hours to drive to by bus. I sat with Bob in the back, and I got bored after hearing a lecture from him about how checkers is such an easy game to play, and how he believed I was hustling him when I said I actually had no clue how to play checkers, but I was fairly good at chess. So, after talking about games, I suggested we play the city game – he had to name a city and whichever letter it ended in, I had to name a new city that began with that letter. The rules were simple enough, too: we could give each other “gifts,” or cities that we came up with whenever the other person needed help, but we could not take suggestions from other people if we heard them. That being said, thanks to whoever ruined “Richmond,” and “Raleigh” when I needed a city that began with ‘R.’
When we arrived at Continental, we were seated in a room and given several options of drinks, along with a bag that included a notepad, a highlighter, a booklet that gives a run-down of Continental, and peach-flavored gummies. To say the least, Continental made a very good first impression on me before the speaker even began his presentation. After part one of the presentation, we were able to take a tour of the factory where we got to see how certain parts, such as circuit boards, were manufactured. It was really cool seeing the moving carts that maneuvered around the floor, delivering various equipment and tools to people. The carts actually registered when someone (or any obstacle) was in their way, backed up a little bit before slowing down and found another route around. Arielle and I were pretty impressed. Bob threw a bunch of cities at me that ended with “Y,” and once you use cities like “Youngstown,” and “York,” it becomes extremely difficult. I have never been more grateful for Yalta (yes, it’s a city in Crimea – look it up). Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I was scrambling around for more ‘Y’ cities, however.
Soon, we were back in the conference room where our part two of our presentation was being held. When the speaker asked who was studying Macroeconomics, I raised my hand because I am, indeed, an Economics minor hoping to specialize in Macro. He told me my services would be needed quite soon, and sure enough he asked me a question involving Macro, but I really had a hard time understanding what he was asking me. I had to shrug my shoulders and say I never learned it before, although I might have. I guess we’ll never know.
Afterwards, we took our group photo and started the second part of our day in the heart of Regensburg. I was stuck with another ‘Y’ city, and I tried to say “Yukon” but Bob claimed it was only a province in Canada. I just Googled it as I am typing this – there is in fact, a Yukon, Oklahoma. It’s ok, I still managed to come back. Soon we began running out of cities that started with ‘G’ and ‘N.’
Anyways, Regensburg was by far one of the most beautiful towns we visited so far. Our tour guide was amazing, who informed us of Regensburg’s Italian-style architecture that is evident throughout the town. I fell in love with the town immediately. One of my favorite parts of the tour was standing on a bridge that overlooked the Danube; it was absolutely breathtaking. The pictures attached really do not do it justice. We soon rejoined the other half of our group for dinner at a well-known biergarten. I felt bad for Marius, a German student who went on our tour with us today, because he really tried his best to describe each item on the menu for us, but in the end we decided we were just going to point to a random food and see what the waitress brought us Luckily, I was served my favorite meal of the entire trip – Gröstl mit SpiegeleiIt, containing potatoes, more potatoes filled with a stuffing, bacon, and frizzled onions topped with a fried egg and scallions. It’s on a list of German foods my mother is now required to cook for me.
After dinner, we were just in time to catch a procession of the town alongside Catholic priests and ministers preparing themselves for Ascension Day. The road was even blocked off for the crowd passing by.
On the bus ride back, I installed a game of checkers on my phone to play with Bob, who, I mean it wasn’t even funny, completely destroyed me and soon came to realize that I was, in fact, not hustling him when I admitted that I genuinely have no idea how checkers is played. My problem with the game is that there does not seem to be any real strategy to it (unlike chess), and it feels as if each of my pieces is just moving forward only to be eaten. After around five rounds of checkers, I gave up and continued with the city game. Yes, we were still playing that game – 12 hours later. It wasn’t even over at the end of the night, when I hit him with Nancy, France, meaning he had to come up with a ‘Y’ city himself. It was definitely one of my prouder moments of the trip.
Today was definitely a day to remember, and by far one of my favorite memories from the trip.
Bis bald, (in Nancy, Frankrecih)!